A Client Focused, Highly-Experienced Boutique Trial Law Firm Specializing in Federal Criminal Defense and Other Federal Matters Locally and Nationally for Over 30 Years
Complex White-Collar Federal Criminal Defense
Complex Mortgage and Bank Fraud Investigations
Federal Appeals and Habeas Corpus Litigation
Prosecutorial and Law Enforcement Misconduct
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel and Lawyer Malfeasance
Federal Corporate Compliance and Criminal Risk Assessment
Select Federal and State Civil Litigation And Other Federal Matters
Mr. Cortez is a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, after passing the federal specialist examination.
As a career federal criminal defense attorney, Mr. Cortez has devoted himself to the defense of those under pre-indictment investigation and those under indictment by the federal Government. His causes have been the underdog, the persecuted and the outnumbered in federal courts. He began his career as a federal criminal defense lawyer in 1983, at the then nationally preeminent Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc., defending the poor who could not afford to hire a lawyer.
As an experienced lawyer of last resort, Mr. Cortez has also handled post conviction Habeas Corpus litigation of unique cases, involving a variety of legal defects such as prosecutorial misconduct, ineffective assistance of counsel, lawyer malfeasance and other constitutional violations. Mr. Cortez also handles selected federal civil matters and is also a consultant on case strategy in federal criminal and selected civil matters in state and federal courts.
Mr. Cortez's legal ability and ethical conduct have been rated as AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®. For decades, Mr. Cortez has also been recognized by The Best Lawyers In America — the preeminent standard of excellence for the legal profession. He has been listed annually in San Diego Magazine's "Best Lawyers In San Diego" since 2001, as one of only a handful of elite criminal defense lawyers once described by the magazine as the type of lawyer that other "attorneys would go to if they needed a [federal criminal defense] lawyer."
Mr. Cortez has also been selected by Super Lawyers continuously since 2007 in the White Collar and Corporate Counsel categories and described there as one of the "Seriously Outstanding Top 5%" in his field. The prestigious, national, yearly survey of the U.S. News & World Report's Best Lawyers/Best Law Firms has selected Mr. Cortez's law firm for this distinguished honor since 2010, including the 2015 Edition.
As an ambassador for his profession, Mr. Cortez was twice awarded Fulbright Scholarships in 2004 and in 2005 by the U. S. State Department to teach the American system of adversarial jury trial techniques to Chilean defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges at the University of Concepción, in Concepción and also in Temuco, Chile. Mr. Cortez has taught Criminal Justice Administration at San Diego State University and at Moscow University (MGU) in Moscow, Russia. He has also taught trial skills and techniques as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego and California Western Schools of Law and has taught advanced trial techniques to experienced trial lawyers for CACJ, NACDL and various trial institutes.
Law Offices of Ezekiel E. Cortez
550 West C Street, Suite 790
San Diego, CA 92101
Contact Us ~ View Map